When it comes to customer feedback, responding to negative reviews isn’t always fun. But it’s rarely an option either.
A business needs to manage their brand reputation to improve search rankings and convert more website leads; responding to online reviews (positive and negative) is critical to solidifying your reputation.
There’s a number of things to consider when responding to negative reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp or similar review sites. We'll go over six key things to consider when replying to negative customer feedback and provide six example templates of how you can respond if someone leaves a negative review of your business.
Keep in mind that each review response should be personalized and canned responses should be avoided. Please use these examples as a guide for your own responses, and let's turn those frowns upside down!
When should you respond to a negative review? Don't put it off. In fact, most consumers expect a reply within the same day. Be quick about responding to negative reviews since it can help to resolve the issue when you’re able to address the situation in a timely manner. To be able to do so, you need to monitor reviews often so that you’re aware of any situations in which an unhappy customer has left a negative review.
How you respond to negative reviews on Google or Facebook matters. The last thing you want to do is get personal and blast off an angry rant to a negative review. Remember, you’re not just replying to an individual, but everyone who might see your response in the future. For many consumers, how you respond to an angry or dissatisfied customer can influence their decision to choose your business too.
When writing a response to a negative review, keep it brief and get to the point. Steer the customer towards having a conversation to resolve the issue and suggest taking it offline.
Provide a public response to negative customer feedback and when suitable, take things offline. Writing you respond to negative online reviews publicly, it first gives you an opportunity to provide context and demonstrate to customers that your business works to make customers happy—then you can take it offline. Once resolved, return to the original online conversation and thank them for the chance to fix the issue.
Not every negative review is going to be something you can fix. Sometimes a response could put you in the line of fire for more negative attention. Determine if engagement is the right course of action. Was it a genuine mistake on your end or the rants of someone angry at life. Or worse yet, the ramblings of trolls?
There are times when negative sentiment online can cause others to jump on the bandwagon. Every situation is different and can require some level of intervention. Avoid being confrontational or providing excuses. Tackle the issue head-on and own your mistakes. In a crisis-management situation, it is best to take the conversation offline as soon as it's appropriate.
While it can be difficult, maintaining the integrity of your business is an important part of reputation management. Online reviews are trusted by almost 90% of consumers and just as many read the responses businesses provide to those reviews.
When responding to negative or bad reviews of your business remember to keep it succinct, be prompt with your reply and be professional. Provide a public response and when suitable, suggest taking it offline. Once resolved, return to the online review and thank your customer for allowing you to fix the situation.
Keep in mind that less than five percent of dissatisfied customers ever take the time to mention why they’re unhappy, they simply disappear. This means the unhappy customers who are sharing their negative experiences are doing your business a favor; this way you can fix things and avoid future issues.
Manually staying on top of your reviews—positive or negative—can be time-consuming and inefficient. At NiceJob, we're here to help you collect reviews from your happy customers, share positive reviews across social media & your website and quickly & effectively respond to (negative) reviews directly in our reputation-management software platform.
And we offer a free 14-day trial so you can see for yourself how easy it is to leverage customer reviews for your marketing efforts with no upfront commitment.